The Loaner Vehicle
By: Jennifer Kovalski
One of my least favorite things is when you have to take your car to the shop for a repair. The first reason I dislike it, is obviously the money that it usually costs. The second and main reason, I dislike it is that you have to give up your car. I instantly feel like I am 16 years old again, depending on others for a lift, or to borrow a car for a moment of freedom. Well this article is about my last experience without my beloved Hyundai Elantra.
I had a semi-minor issue with my front windshield defrost. Basically, it just didn’t work. If you ask Tom Fletcher who witnessed the foggy glass when he needed a lift south, he would say it was a major issue. So I dropped my car off at a local garage near home. I expected it back later that day. No, bad news. They are going to have to keep it another day. I feel the vice tighten both on my wallet and my freedom.
The next day, as luck would have it I had a migraine but in 20/20 hindsight, I think it was sympathy pain for my vehicle. (Coincidentally, this was also the same day that the Plymouth nuclear power plant’s alarm system was being tested, which in no way helps with a headache). Ok, so I didn’t need my whip that day other than to escape the siren, which would have been nice, but with the headache I had, I was pretty much out of commission just like my car. The garage called, they were waiting on a part, and it won’t be there until tomorrow afternoon. I asked if they have a loaner car I can use, as I have to get to work the following day. To my surprise, my little garage did.
He asks if I would like to us the BMW. Now, as aforementioned I adore my little car, but the opportunity to drive a nice BMW for a day would not be passed up. I am handed the keys and led to the car. Shock. It is a 1990’s BMW station wagon, with about a billion miles on it. It was the equivalent of a Mr. Potato head in terms of parts…. a little of this and little of that… whatever it took to make it run and pass an inspection test. I rumble out of the garage parking lot. The inside of the car was filthy, the gas tank basically empty, it was apparent that this is the vehicle that does the dump runs.
Flash forward to the next morning, I suck it up and take the car to work. I rumble by the garage only to see my Elantra suspended 9 feet in the air still being worked on. Duxbury to Braintree is about 20 miles, and should take about 30 minutes max. With the morning traffic, it usually takes me over an hour. So I go to turn on the radio, nothing. THERE IS NO WORKING RADIO in the BMW. I drive in silence for 70 minutes to work and then later home again, in silence for 45 minutes.
When I got the repair invoice I was happy to pay it. I got my car back, my freedom, it was clean, the defroster was working, and it had a working radio.